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Gas vs electric tankless water heater

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Tankless water heaters are becoming widely popular as they provide a lot of advantages over traditional water heaters. They are energy saver, provides hot water on demand and, don't take up much space. If you are thinking of purchasing and installing a tankless water heater, you must know about all the advantages and disadvantages offered by gas tankless water heaters and the electric variants. Although both are good choices, it is better to understand their specific offerings.

The choice made between the electric and gas variants solely depends upon your need and requirement. For some people it is easier to make a choice depending upon the availability of the gas supply or the electric power supply to their house.

But if both of the power options are present then it becomes mandatory for you to consider other factors such as the cost, space utilization, efficiency too. Your ultimate choice comes down to your hot water need, household space and budget.

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The primary factors you can look for, before making the final decision, are stated as follows:

Power Options

Power options can be the biggest factor. You can choose between the two heaters depending upon which power option is easily available to you; the electric supply or the gas supply. If you have both of the options easily available at your service, then you can select the better suitable option for you by considering other factors.

Gas supply is cheaper than the electric supply. But power prices may vary from place to place. With a fast depletion rate of the fossil fuels, there should be possible rise in gas prices in the near future. As far as the electricity prices are concerned, they are high as compared to natural gas but will remain stable for a long time.

Initial Cost

Bill TextureThere is a significant variance between the initial prices of gas and best electric Tankless water heater.

Electric water heaters are cheaper than the best gas tankless water heaters.

For residential applications, you can find a good quality electric tankless water heater around a price range of $500-$700 whereas, you can find a good quality gas tankless water heater for a price range of $1000-$1200.

If you are doing a whole house installation, it will cost up to around $3000 including all the other add-on installation expenses.

Appropriate applications

You can choose suitable water heater as per the water demand and requirement. In case of whole house installation where hot water demand is very high, gas tankless water heater is a more suitable choice than the electric water heating unit. But in the case of point of use installation where hot water demand is low, an electric tankless water heater is a preferred. So, depending on your hot water requirements choose which go best with your demands.

Installation

Electric Tankless Water Heater InstallationElectric tankless water heater installation is easy and inexpensive as compared to its counterpart.

These units come in small size and because of their simple design are super easy to install.

Owing to their compactness, they can be easily installed in narrow places and practically in any coarse space like under the sink or in a closet.

Whereas gas tankless water heaters are not easy and expensive to install. In most cases, gas water heaters require additional venting system, gas supply and other necessities which can greatly increase the installation cost and add up in the overall cost.

There are even portable tankless water heaters availlable for even more convenience.

Operating Cost

In context of operating cost, gas tankless water heaters are cheaper when compared to the electric water heaters. But its efficiency lies between 80-85% at its peak, whereas electric water has an efficiency of over 98%, which means a very minute loss of energy. Even though gas water heaters are generally cheaper to operate as natural gas is cheaper than electricity, the better efficiency of the electric water heater outweighs the fact. Also, gas prices tend to fluctuate but the electricity rates remain stable over a large period.

With the depletion of the fossil fuels, gas prices are certain to escalate in the near future. You can choose between the gas and electric fuels depending upon the availability and prices in your area.

Water supply and flow rate

Hot water supply is most important to evaluate as both the gas and electric water heaters provide different levels of hot water supply. Electric water heaters are able to provide a water flow rate of 5-8 gallons per minutes depending upon their incoming water temperature, which is enough for an average family. Whereas, gas water heaters are able to provide a water flow rate of above 8 gallons per minute which makes it suitable for large families and whole house installation.

Climatic conditions are also to be considered, as they can decrease and increase the water flow rate. There is mostly a decrease in the flow rate at colder regions in contrast to warmer regions. If you have higher demand of hot water flow rate you can opt for gas water heaters and likewise, if low water flow rate is enough, electric water heaters is a better choice to make.

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Maintenance

Electric Tankless Water Heater Easy MaintenanceElectric water heaters require very little maintenance and care, its maintenance part mostly consist of cleaning the filter inlet to remove any debris and flushing it 2-3 times annually.

Whereas gas water heater maintenance task takes an additional bit of effort as it requires annual inspection by a licensed technician to ensure proper fuel combustion and effective performance.

In case, if a problem arises and repair work is needed due to its simple design electric heaters are easy to deal with.

Even with proper guidance a non-technician person can also be able to do it.

On the other hand, in the case of gas water heaters repairing is a difficult task because of its complex heat exchanger design and fuel controls.

Venting and additional installation

Gas tankless water heaters require proper ventilation to emit all of the harmful and combustible flue gases produced during its water heating operation. You ought to install a new venting system if the already installed one isn't working properly or placed with the existing one. Also, if you are using a gas condensing water heater you also have to install a condensate drain to collect the condensate water produced as the useless product of its operation. Electric water heater doesn't require any ventilation as there is no combustion gases, literally it can be installed anywhere.

Environmental Impact

Electric tankless water heater doesn't emit any greenhouse gas into the environment. Due to its compact size these are easy to dispose-off and thus reduce environmental harm. These are also energy efficient. However, it is not same in the case of gas water heating units. They are indeed energy efficient, but emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and increase reliance on fossil fuels.

But what's the best both types help you save water. Because hot water on demand means no more waiting for hot water to start flowing.

As there is very much difference in the construction, operation and design of the two types of tankless water heaters; a proper choice between can only be made of you already know all your requirements as well all the features provided by these two types of modern water heaters.

Whenever purchasing a tankless water heating unit, always make sure to check the spec beforehand to draw a rough estimate about whether the unit will be able to live up to all your expectations or not.
Internet contains a lot of detailed info about the two popular variants of the tankless water heaters. So, make sure to go through the various contrast guides present on the web if you find your info less than the mark required to clearly make a best-fit choice.

All the best in choosing best tankless water heater for you!

WaterHeaters101 Final
Energy Saver 101 Inforgrapcih Source : Energy.gov

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